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Parlay Betting Meaning

Parlay betting definition

For the concept of a betting parlay explained in full you’ve most certainly come to the right place here. Our experts are on hand to help you get to grips with America's favorite type of combo bet.

In this article, not only will we explain the basic concept, but we’ll also dive deeper inside to give you the tips and tricks you need to place a winning parlay bet. If you like the sound of that, then let’s not wait around any longer and get started.

In betting, what is parlay?

A parlay in betting is a type of bet that involves the bettor making multiple selections as part of the same wager. They are popular among bettors because they give you the chance to lengthen the odds/spreads and thus increase your total potential payout. The downside to this is that they give you less of a chance of winning. However, if done right, put on sports you know, and having other important betting knowledge like what is the spread in sports betting, parlays can offer a very exciting opportunity in sports betting. Below, we’ll take a look at the betting parlay definition in full, before providing you with our best tips and tricks for using parlays to enhance your overall sports betting experience.

We’re often asked if parlay bets are complicated and not ideal for beginner gamblers. While parlay bets might seem more complex than betting under and over; however, they are actually fairly straightforward. Although we wouldn’t necessarily recommend placing a parlay bet as your first ever wager, they definitely can be a good logical next step if you have some experience with straight wagers but are looking to try something new.

Parlay definition – in full

A parlay bet requires the bettor to make two or more selections and tie them to the same wager. Unlike with a combo bet, all selections on your parlay need to win in order for your bet to pay out. It is this that makes parlay bets exciting, as they can offer big payouts and a means of making multiple sports games interesting, and you’ll often find parlay betting deals offered at sportsbooks. However, they can also be quite frustrating as well. For example, if you place a parlay with ten selections, your full wager would still lose even in the event of 9/10 of those selections coming to pass.

The types of wagers and the sports that make up your total parlay wager do not necessarily need to be of the same type or of the same sport. However, especially for beginner bettors, it is advisable to make your selections wisely and place your bets at sports betting apps with stellar reputations.

The best way to summarize parlay bets is as being risky but with great potential. The fewer selections you make, the best chance your bet has of paying out. However, naturally, the payout will also be smaller. Parlay bets are particularly popular in the UK, where they are more commonly known as accumulator bets or “accas” for short.

Betting parlay meaning with example

To keep things simple here, let’s just consider multiple moneyline selections on the same sport for our first parlay example of the article. If we take a round of NBA games, let’s say you bet on Celtics at -300, Bucks at -190, Pelicans at -375, Nuggets at -190, and Raptors at -120. The total combined odds and spreads for this bet as a parlay would be +621, despite all of the teams individually being offered at minus odds in their respective moneylines.

This means that at $100 wager would stand you to win a potential payout of $721, with $621 of that being profit. However, while each of the five selections individually has at least a 50% implied probability, this parlay combined has just a 13.9% implied probability, meaning that the chance of you winning is really low.

Calculating the odds and spreads with a betting parlay explained

In order to calculate the odds and spreads for a parlay bet yourself, you first need to convert the odds and spreads from American into decimal, as decimal odds are far easier to work with. You then simply need to multiply all of the decimal odds together, multiply that result by your bet amount and then subtract your stake.

Of course, this is quite a complex thing to do, but fortunately, you don’t have to. The majority of top US sportsbooks will have a parlay bet calculator or betting sites odds and spreads calculator built into their bet slip, meaning that all you need to do is click on your selections and you will be shown your total odds and spreads. With most online sportsbooks, you will also be able to simply enter your stake amount and your total payout will be calculated for you.

Certain types of parlay bets are easier than others to calculate yourself. For example, if you bet a parlay that consists solely of points spreads and/or totals, then the odds and spreads will always be -110, which is easier to work with than multiple selections at different odds and spreads.

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Round robin vs betting parlay explained

If you make your parlay selections on the betting slip with most US sportsbooks, you will quite likely also see that you have a number of round robin options as well, which offers you shorter odds/spreads and a lower potential payout. So what exactly is the difference between a round robin and the betting parlay meaning? Let’s take a look …

Essentially, a round robin is a more conservative version of the parlay bet. As mentioned previously, the biggest downside of a parlay bet is that the risk level is high due to the low implied probability. With a round robin, you can break your parlay bet into smaller combinations in order to increase the probability of your bet winning. To summarize, a round robin is basically a parlay bet that will still pay out if one of your selections loses.

Different types of round robin bet

There are multiple different types of round robin bet, so let’s take a look at some of the most common ones. For example, if you make a parlay bet with five selections and want to switch to a round robin, the first option you will have is a 4/5. With this type of selection, your parlay bet will still pay out even if one of your teams loses. What you are doing here is betting one of the teams as a four combination.

This is the type of round robin bet that has the longest odds/spreads and implied probability, though the odds/spreads are still short in comparison to a regular all-or-nothing parlay. The way to give yourself the best implied probability of winning at least some money back with a round robin would be to break it down into five single bets.

Parlay betting definition – frequently asked questions

What happens to my parlay bet if the game is canceled?

In order to find out what the betting parlay meaning is if the game is canceled, you will need to check the T&Cs of the sportsbook that you are using. While we can’t speak for all sportsbooks, most commonly a canceled game just results in your selection(s) on that bet from being removed from your parlay. This often differs if the game has merely been postponed; some sportsbooks will cancel it from your wager, while others will make it pass over until the postponed game is played. It is extremely rare for a canceled game to be counted as a lost parlay.

Should I bet parlays?

That depends on a jumper of factors, including your betting experience and how you view it. If you got into sports betting with the object of trying to make a long-term profit, then parlays are most probably best avoided. As we said earlier in our parlay betting definition, this is a type of bet that offers a potential high reward but that has a very high risk of losing, especially when compared to straight bets.

How should I bet a parlay?

Due to the high-risk factor that we’ve mentioned throughout this, our best advice for betting on parlays is to make sensible selections and place low stakes. We recommend that parlays be used only as a very small risk way of making a weekend of sport a little bit more exciting. If you are looking for a more low-risk version of betting take a look at straight wagers instead.

What is a single-game parlay?

We haven’t yet explained the single-game betting parlay meaning, but it’s actually very simple. Essentially it’s a straightforward concept that does exactly what it says on the tin: offers you multiple selections on the same game. For example, if you were betting on an NFL game, you could bet on the over/under, the points spread, and add a props bet all for the same game.

Single-game betting parlays are popular here in the US for a number of reasons; however, there is one that stands out for most gamblers more than others. With a single game parlay, you can find out the results of all of your selections at the same time, which, in turn, keeps all bets alive for the same time period, especially if you’re utilizing live betting on a sportsbook. With the betting parlay explained previously using the NBA examples, all of the games tipped off at different times. If the first game of your parlay were to lose in this instance, then your whole bet would really be a loser.

Do parlays all have to be on the same sport?

No. While it is more common for people to bet parlays on the same sport or league, you don’t necessarily have to make all of your selections on one sport. You could, technically speaking, mix and match your bets across multiple sports. However, this could be considered as a risky strategy, unless you know all of your sports well and make your selections wisely.

Do all parlay selections have to be the same wager type?

Once again no, and for some parlays this would be impossible. If we take single-game parlays as an example, it’s physically impossible to make the same selection twice or more on the same game. However, with multiple selections across different games, bettors generally prefer to stick with the same type of wager.

Parlay betting definition – the verdict

So there you have it, the ins and outs of the betting parlay explained in full. Before we leave you to search for a sportsbook review that provides more information about great sportsbooks on our platform, let’s summarize our thoughts. The betting parlay can be fun and add extra excitement to a weekend of sport; however, the risk is high. We’re not going to put you off parlay bets altogether, but we definitely recommend approaching them with caution. Go for small stakes and fewer selections in order to give yourself the best chance of winning.

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Betting parlay meaning FAQ

✅ Is a parlay a good bet?

This depends on the selections that you make and on what games. As is the case with the majority of questions surrounding sports betting more generally, the answer is always going to be somewhat subjective. You can check out our parlay betting guide here on our website. We’ve explained the concept of parlay betting in some detail and provided you with our top tips for picking the different types of bet.

🕦 How often do parlays pay out?

The answer to this question differs depending on a number of factors – and especially depends on the odds of each selection and the total parlay. You can find a full guide to parlay bets explained, alongside their chances of winning, in our article. Simply follow the link in order to find out more today.

❓ How do parlays work in betting?

It’s a common misconception among new and novice bettors that parlay bets are complicated; however, they are probably simpler than you think. You can check out the basic definition of a parlay bet, as well as a step-by-step guide to how they work in our article here at PromoGuy. By following the link to our site, you can discover everything that you need to know today.

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